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Syracuse man ticketed for I-481 crash that injured worker changing flat tire (NY)


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DeWitt, N.Y. — A Syracuse man was ticketed after police said he struck the truck of a state worker who was parked along Interstate 481 helping change someone’s flat tire, leading to a multi-vehicle crash.


The crash happened on I-481 north, near Jamesville Road, around 6:07 p.m. Monday. DeWitt police said state Department of Transportation Highway Emergency Local Patrol (H.E.L.P) truck was parked on the side of the highway. The worker was changing a flat tire on a disabled van when Joshua Olin, 31, failed to move over from the right lane and struck the H.E.L.P truck.


Olin’s vehicle then struck the van, which subsequently hit the H.E.L.P worker. The H.E.L.P worker suffered minor injuries, police said. No one was inside the disabled van at the time.


Olin’s vehicle then struck a third vehicle that was parked on the shoulder of the highway, sending that vehicle across traffic and down an embankment.




Olin was ticketed for failure to yield the right of way for an emergency vehicle (Move Over Law) and for driving on the shoulder.


State Farm and the state DOT team up to provide H.E.L.P., a program that provides assistance to motorists along access interstate roadways, parkways and expressways throughout the state.


Along with DeWitt police, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, DeWitt Fire Department and AMR Ambulance responded to the scene.


Emergency crews detoured traffic off I-481 North at Exit 2, onto Jamesville Road in DeWitt, for a little more than an hour after the crash.




DeWitt Police Chief Chase Bilodeau said in a statement that the crash is a reminder of the importance for drivers to move over for emergency vehicles when they are stopped on the roadway with their emergency lights activated.



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Sorry, but I have to ask ... that truck's equipped with an arrowboard right? There's a stack of cones resting in the rear of the truck right? Tire changes are one roadside service act that continues to get towers and roadside worker's killed, right?  The police chief's statement says nothing to towers and roadside workers about taking all the steps necessary to ensure an additional measure of safety regardless as to the time it takes or the inconvenience to the motoring public. The definition of insanity, "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." I think a better definition should be, "If you want different results, you have to try different approaches." And, that's what's so amazing about the industry ... we know what get's towers and roadside worker's killed, but we keep doing the same old practices.


What are the value of lessons learned if the lessons AREN'T learned?     R.

Randall C. Resch

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